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October 22, 2009




(Honolulu, October 22, 2009)-Tsunami relief operations and aid continue to pour into American Samoa, and now efforts are underway for the independent country of Samoa.  In response to numerous inquiries about aiding disaster victims of the flooding in the independent country, which suffered much worse damage and loss of life, Mayor Mufi Hannemann has directed his brother Gus Hannemann to set up a committee to organize a fundraising and relief efforts.


“Many people in the Samoan community here in Hawaii have family, friends and loved ones in both Samoa and in American Samoa,” Mayor Hannemann said.  “In fact, my roots stem from both places.  My father was from Samoa, and my mother was from American Samoa.  Both islands suffered substantial damage during the tsunami, with independent Samoa bearing the brunt of the flooding and the loss.”


A special account has been opened at First Hawaiian Bank to accept donations for Samoa relief.  The committee will be working with Samoan churches and Matson Navigation to send clothing, bedding and other relief supplies to Samoa.


“Businesses and individuals continue to ask how they can help the victims of the flooding in Samoa,” Gus Hannemann said. “I have talked to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who has promised to work with us to get donations and supplies to the people who most need them.”


Independent Samoa is not entitled to the same federal assistance that American Samoa is as a territory of the United States.   Samoa needs help in rebuilding homes and benefitting those who lost everything.


The committee will concentrate on monetary donations. People who want to donate should make checks payable to “SAMOA Tsunami Relief Fund” and make their contributions at any branch of First Hawaiian Bank.  Receipts of such donations should be sent to:


            The Samoa Relief Hawaii Committee

            P.O. Box 25188

            Honolulu, HI 96825


A list of donors will be sent to the Prime Minister and Mayor Hannemann for acknowledgement.